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Wiring for Susquehanna Valley & Gulf Summit

Jon B has been an N scale modeler since 1978 and posted this:

“Yours truly is in process of building the Susquehanna Valley & Gulf Summit N Scale layout. It first appeared in 1970 as ‘Nine Atlas N Scale Model Railroads’ as Layout N-109. There was a 2nd edition revised in August of 1976. Some years ago, a modeler published a DCC wiring version. Today, the same N scale layout is known as Atlas Layout N-18.

Drum roll, please…

My question is – Do any of you know where I can get a wiring schematic that will allow DCC on the Upper Level and DC with TWO DC controllers for the bottom level?

The rationale for this is yours truly wants to operate the upper level while two grandsons operate the DC version on the lower level.”

Please add your comment or suggestion below to assist Jon.

3 Responses to Wiring for Susquehanna Valley & Gulf Summit

  • David Stokes says:

    I am presuming the levels are completely separate. DCC allows you to drive individual locomotives. DC drives the track. Do not allow them to connect.

  • Morgan Bilbo says:

    I admit I don’t have grand kids. But. Why not do both in DCC? The reason I say this is: With DCC, you can limit the maximum speed of the loco and that prevents the kids from running it like a scared jack rabbit. Even on my shelf layout, I limit all my locos to half speed. You could even limit them further. I don’t remember if this is even possible with DC. But David is right. If the layouts are not connected, there should be no problem doing the top DCC and the bottom DC. For me, the days of running Lionel at 400 mph are long gone.

  • Larry Card says:

    I found the track plan online and the only question I have is if you are going to leave the ramp in to connect the upper and lower layouts or not. If you are going to leave that ramp out then you can wire the upper and lower levels as two separate layouts, but if you want to connect the two you are going to need to put in an extra switch to go between DC and DCC on the lower level. This switch gets wired between the cabs and the block switches.

    Before launching into the complicated description below, I would like to second the suggestion to just wire the entire thing for DCC and buy a couple of extra throttles (or hook wifi up to it and use your old cell phones for throttles). This exact situation is where DCC shines and the limitations of DC are glaringly obvious.

    Running DC sounds simple for the grandkids, but if there are 2 of them running at once throwing all those block switches as they run the layout will get boring pretty quick, especially if they are younger and just want to see the trains run. That’s the beauty of DCC, especially with larger layouts and multiple operators, you don’t have to fiddle with block switches. Just program your locomotive into your throttle and drive trains. That also does away with complicated wiring schemes like the one below. But if you insist…

    For 2 cab DC control, retaining the ramp track, you will need a 4 pole 2 throw switch wired between the cabs and the block switches. Switch position 1 is for DC and switch position 2 is for DCC. Pole 1 is for cab A, pole 2 for cab B, pole 3 is for the ramp track and pole 4 is for the common (negative) rail.

    Wire the cab positive terminals to position 1 on poles 1 and 2, each cab to it’s own pole. Connect the negative cab terminals together and connect to position 1 on pole 4. (Nothing gets connected to position 1 on pole 3.)

    Connect position 2 on poles 1, 2 and 3 together and wire the DCC positive terminal to them. The DCC negative terminal goes to position 2 on pole 4.

    The outputs for poles 1 and 2 get wired to the block switch cab inputs A and B respectively, the output for pole 3 goes to the ramp track positive rail, and the output for pole 4 gets wired to all track common (negative) rails.

    When this switch is in DC each cab output gets routed to their corresponding block switches so the blocks can be controlled by either cab, but the ramp will be off so that no trains can travel between the lower DC level and the upper DCC level. In DCC both block switch positions get connected to the DCC positive output so no matter what position the block switches are in the entire layout, including the ramp track, will get DCC power, Trains can then run freely between the upper and lower levels.

    It sounds a bit complicated but it works and it keeps everything isolated and out of danger.

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